The Bitcoin fork: A good problem to have: Page 3 of 3

February 15, 2016 //By Jérôme Rousselot
The Bitcoin fork: A good problem to have
Bitcoin use is growing so fast that some people have started worrying about the limits of the current version of the digital currency. While several solutions have been proposed to help Bitcoin handle more transactions, difficulty in coming to a consensus on the best approach threatens to divide the Bitcoin network in two.
will only become active when 75% of Bitcoin nodes use it. Therefore only 25% of nodes would have the wrong version. It is very likely that most of these nodes would handle much less than 25% of Bitcoin transaction volumes, and thus most if not all Bitcoin users would not notice anything. Their favorite Bitcoin app would just keep working, as the company that delivers it would make the right choice and connect to the most popular version of Bitcoin.

This is called a hard fork, but there is little to worry about for the end user. It is a bit similar to updating your iPhone. Over time, most iPhone users do it, and during the transition, both old and new versions still get software updates and can make phone calls and text with each other. However, only users with the latest version can use new features like Apple Pay.

It is still possible that these two versions of Bitcoin - Classic and Core - reunite together, and that a hard fork is not needed. Otherwise, we may see a small Bitcoin Core network operating mostly as an academic curiosity, and a large network running Bitcoin Classic, which could adopt any useful improvements developed in Bitcoin Core, as both are open source software.

Meanwhile, last Monday evening I paid my share of a dinner with bitcoin and we did not notice any delay!

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